Yes – Drama (1980)

Yes without both, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, might be still Yes? The answer is “Drama”, the band’s tenth studio album released 31 years ago, on 22 August, 1980 and which introduced Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes of The Buggles. Horn and Downes came after the #1 hit in the UK with “Video Killed the Radio Star” and being Yes fans they landed in Yes because they were managed by the same Brian Lane. Still, hardcore Yes fans considered unacceptable the replacement of Anderson and Wakeman. Although, “Drama” fared very well in the UK charts, reaching #2 there, but in America, “Drama” became the first Yes album in years not to reach top 10 or go gold.

6 tracks, 37 minutes, “Drama”, probably mainly influenced by Horn and Downes added a touch of New Wave to the classic Progressive Rock sound of the Yes, but also some fresh dynamic as well. The over 8 minutes of “Into the Lens” – in my humble opinion – is an absolutely classy and explosive song’s, one of the Yes finest. An alternate version of “Into the Lens” appeared on the second The Buggles album “Adventures in Modern Recording” as “I am a Camera”.
Howe and Downes left the band in 1981 and joined the super-group Asia. After Anderson rejoined, Yes did not perform any of the songs from Drama, as Anderson refused to sing them. Still, Trevor Horn would return not as a member of the band, but to produce their commercially successful 1983 album, “90125”.
“Drama” was received with lot of suspicion back than, but I believe it was a beautiful album which marked perfectly the beginning of the 80s and incorporated something from the vibe of the coming era. Something similar did Rush in they particular manner four years later on their “Grace Under Pressure” album.

Track listing:

Side one

01. “Machine Messiah” – 10:27
02. “White Car” – 1:21
03. “Does It Really Happen?” – 6:35

Side two

04. “Into the Lens” – 8:33
05. “Run Through the Light” – 4:43
06. “Tempus Fugit” – 5:15

I’m still afraid to listen “Fly From Here”, the latest Yes release. I keep telling myself: just a little bit later! 😀

Yes – Official Site

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